Man In Critical Condition After Being Beaten, Stabbed Near Rockland Synagogue

WCBS 880 Newsroom
November 20, 2019 - 4:03 pm
Monsey Stabbing

Peter Carr/The Journal News, Rockland/Westchester Journal News via Imagn Content Services, LLC

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MONSEY, N.Y. (WCBS 880) – An Orthodox Jewish man is in critical condition after being beaten and stabbed by two men in Rockland County Wednesday morning, police said.

The man was fighting for his life at Westchester Medical Center as community members gathered outside. They told WCBS 880 he’s a 30-year-old, married father of four and that he is also a teacher.

Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel says it was an attempted murder.

"There's a wave of anti-semitism and bigotry all over the country," said Rabbi Yisroel Kahan, "but it's worse when you look at the Brooklyn, Rockland County, whether it's a video, whether it's a statement, sadly it has been ignored."

They say they can’t fathom what happened and that they know him to be a kind and gentle man with no enemies.

The man was attacked as he was walking to Mosdos Meharam Brisk Tashnad in Monsey around 5:30 a.m., police said.

The victim was able to tell responders that a car pulled up, two men jumped out and then beat and stabbed him multiple times.

"No words were exchanged and they pummeled him to the ground for several minutes,” Kahan told the Journal News.

Police are reviewing surveillance tapes from the neighborhood.

So far no motive has been established, but members of the community speculate it may have been an anti-Semitic attack.

“I'm not willing to say that this is a hate crime. That doesn't mean that it won't be established through investigation that it was in fact a hate crime. But we must be very prudent and deliberate in our investigation,” said Weidel.

However, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday afternoon that he has directed the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist in the investigation.

“I am deeply disturbed by the violent attack of an Orthodox Jewish man who was beaten and repeatedly stabbed while on his way to Synagogue in Monsey, Rockland County, earlier today,” he said in a statement.

He added that the two law enforcement agencies will work together to “investigate this horrific assault and examine all potential motives, including whether the attack may have been motivated by anti-Semitism.”

Meanwhile, members of the Jewish community throughout the town say they are fearful and outraged.

“I hope this is the last incident we're going to have here in Rockland County like this. But with the environment that is going on in this county, I’m sad to say it won't be the last,” said Steve Gold, co-founder of the Jewish Federation in Rockland County.

Police are now offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who is able to identify the suspects involved in the beating.